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Difference Between Rice Cakes And Bread

Sometimes you need a quick snack to satisfy your cravings.

A bag of potato chips, a sandwich made with a few slices of white bread or even toast might seem really appealing for your consumption.

But if you are concerned about the nutritional value as well as the calories content of your snacks, then some types of bread, particularly white bread may not really be the healthy option for you when it comes to snacking.

White bread contains a lot of calories, it is associated with weight gain, and is deficient in nutrients.

A while ago, rice cakes were a really popular snack among a lot of people who trying to cut down on their calorie intake.

They can be really satisfying while having less calorie content per serving. A single serving of rice cakes contains about 35 calories.

Rice cakes are still considered by some to be a low calorie alternative to bread.

But how does rice cakes compare to the bread used for making sandwiches or toast, and is rice cakes really a nutritionally better alternative to bread?

In this post we are going to look at various articles about rice cakes and bread, then compare these two snacks.

Comparing rice cakes vs. bread


Bread is known to have a high calorie content most of which comes from carbs.

Rice cakes are said to be low in calories; a single rice cake may contain fewer calories than a slice of bread. However, it may seem otherwise when you consider the calories contained in each gram of rice cake and bread.

These snacks are also filling; this is due to the air contained within the puff rice cakes which might actually be responsible for the reduced calorie consumption when taking rice cakes.


Rice cakes are low in fat. Plain rice cake made with white rice is fat free and that is why people love to snack on them.

On the other hand, bread contains some amount of fat, more than that contained in the same size of rice cakes.


Fiber is very important for the digestive health of the body

Rice cakes are very low in fiber, and while white bread might not be a good example of a snack with enough fiber content, whole grain bread on the other hand is rich in fiber.

Other Nutrients

As for other nutrients, plain rice cakes are low in vitamins and minerals.

White bread may not contain so much nutritionally, however, bread could be richer in nutrients if you opt for whole grain bread or other more nutritious varieties of bread instead.

Whole grain bread may contain important nutrients such as more vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and selenium.


Plain rice cakes may be gluten free. But rice cakes are sometimes made using additional ingredient that may not be gluten free, and other varieties of rice cakes may not also be gluten free.

However, bread made using wheat flour is not gluten free, but there are other types of breads which are being made with other flours that can boast to be gluten free.

Glycemic index

Both white bread and rice cakes have a high glycemic index.

The  glycemic index  indicate how fast it takes for a food to increase the level of glucose in blood. It uses a scale from zero to 100 and food are ranked either as low, medium and high glycemic index.

Those with a score of 70 and above are classified as those on the high range and both white bread and rice cakes fall into this category

What are rice cakes?

Rice cakes are essentially made from puffed rice.

Puffed rice is rice which has been heated until it becomes puffed. The puffed rice is then placed in a mold which gives them the round flat shape of rice cakes.

White rice is mostly used to make rice cakes; however, there are several other varieties of rice cakes made using brown rice.

Rice cake are referred to as diet food for being low in calories, there are about 35 calories in a single serving of these rice cakes which is about 9 grams

They are low in fibre content and they contain small amounts of nutrients such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorous.

However, rice cakes made with whole grain rice are likely to contain some amount of fibre.

These snacks are usually used as a low calorie alternative to white bread. Rice cakes are filling, they are crunchy and easily digestible.

Rice cakes made using rice alone are gluten free; however, some varieties of rice cakes have additional ingredients that may not be gluten free.

Rice cakes could be topped with other ingredients and there are rice cakes made from whole grains which are richer in nutrients compared to the plain rice cakes


Bread is made from a mixture of water, flour as well as other ingredients. This mixture is known as dough.

There are different types of bread with different nutrient profiles.

White bread might not be exciting when it comes to its nutrient profile, as it low in fibre but high in calories. White bread is made from wheat flour that has be stripped of its nutrient rich germ and bran.

Whole grain bread on the other hand can boast of an amazing nutrient profile. Whole grain flour is used to makes whole grain bread and therefore undergoes less processing and provides more nutrients than white bread would

There are also other types of bread made with different ingredients, and sometimes they are nutritionally richer than white bread.

In summary

A single plain rice cake may contains lesser calories than a slice of bread.

However, when it comes to other nutrients such as vitamins and mineral, rice cakes and white bread are only slightly different.

On the other hand, other types of breads such as whole grain bread may be nutritionally richer than rice cakes.

Rice cakes could be combined with various topping to become nutritionally richer as well.


Healthline: Are rice cakes healthy?

WebMB: What to Know about rice cake nutrition

Healthline: Is bread bad for you?